Facebook Media recently announced two updates to Instant Articles that should help publishers build their reach and strengthen readership engagement. Now publishers can include both a Page Like and Email Newsletter Sign-Up call-to-action unit in their articles directly from their page. Publishers will be able to set these up through a simple, self-serve creation flow, and access insights on the performance of their call-to-action units.
"As part of the Facebook Journalism Project, we’ve been in ongoing conversations with a number of publishers about opportunities to extend the business value of Instant Articles. Across the board, publishers want to have more direct lines of communication with their readers and drive the conversions that matter to their business," said Facebook Product Manager Josh Roberts.
Email Sign-up call-to-action unit: Readers share their email address and agree to receive email newsletter updates from a publisher. Flexible design options allow publishers to customize messaging and clearly represent their brand. What make this effective is that the reader's email addresses is pre-populated in the sign-up so one click is all that is required.
Page Like call-to-action unit: Readers that Like the publisher’s Page are eligible to receive updates and posts from that publisher in News Feed.
According to the early results of the beta partners, the new CTA units have proven to be very successful:
“We currently use the Email call-to-action unit for Instant Articles to drive signups for our daily newsletter list. Over the past two months, the CTA has accounted for 41% of our total list growth. That is a meaningful number and we’re looking forward to partnering with Facebook to continue to grow the program from here.”
Chris Schieffer, Senior Product Manager at Slate
“Facebook Instant Articles is now one of our highest performing acquisition channels for driving email newsletter subscribers. Over the last three months, IA CTA’s generated 29% of the HuffPost Morning Email signups. We also found that signups acquired via Instant Articles are just as likely to stick around as signups obtained from our own sites. We’re excited to work with Facebook to figure out how to drive other actions that help us build deeper relationships with readers, like mobile app downloads.”
Mark Silverstein, Head of Business Development at The Huffington Post
New call-to-action units will be coming as Facebook looks to "drive deeper engagement and build relationships between publishers and their readers."